By Elsa Buehler | Staff Columnist
Thousands of students and community members from the Pittsburgh area gathered in the Fitzgerald Field House on Sept. 28 to hear First Lady Michelle Obama campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Michelle was set to speak at 3:30 p.m., and the doors opened at 1:00 p.m., but people had begun lining up outside of the entrance since 12:00 p.m., before she had even arrived in Pittsburgh, to get the best view of her.
Volunteers from Clinton’s campaign could be spotted up and down the line with their blue t-shirts and official looking clipboards. Their job was to make sure that everyone had filled out a small slip of paper, giving their information contact information to the campaign, and then to award each registrant with a Clinton/Kaine sticker — their ticket inside. The volunteers also held voter registration forms and urged everyone to make sure they were registered to vote, in their current address and not as an absentee voter, before the approaching deadline on Oct. 11.
When the mass of people had been filed into the athletic complex, they were greeted by the University of Pittsburgh band and Democratic candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, Katie McGinty, among various other Pitt students and alumni.
Michelle was eventually introduced and stepped out from behind the American flag emblazoned with “Stronger Together,” smiling and waving with both hands.
She began by reminiscing on her time in the White House, listing her husband’s accomplishments as our nation’s president for the last two terms. She reminded the crowd that he had been the one to make the call to take out Osama Bin Laden, he had been the one in office when the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal and he had been the one to save our country from the worst economic crisis it had seen since the Great Depression.
“My husband’s going to need a new job…I’m like ‘come on buddy!’” said Michelle.
Shifting topics to the presidential race, Michelle talked about the job at hand. She enunciated over and over again that we needed a serious, competent, resilient and genuine candidate to step up as the next leader of America.
“That person is our friend, Hillary Clinton.”
Saying nothing but nice things about Clinton, Michelle continued to praise her leadership skills as Secretary of State and her work done as former First Lady. She also emphasized that, due to these jobs, Clinton’s first-hand experience at the white house was unlike any other’s.
“She is one of the few people in this world who knows what this job entails.”
Never mentioning his name, Michelle also spoke generally of Clinton’s opponent, Donald J. Trump. Bringing up some of his more ridiculous comments from the debate on Monday, Sep. 26, she compared them to some of Clinton’s own. She reminded women present of the disgusting comments that Trump has made about other women, questioning if they wanted that kind of a person in office. She urged the crowd to take a better look at Trump and what he stands for.
“The presidency doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are. And the same thing is true of a presidential campaign.”
Finally, speaking to the young people who made up most of her crowd and lovingly refer to her as “FLOTUS”, Michelle talked a bit about Clinton’s college plan and what it would mean for college students in America if Clinton were to win. She also implored the youth to understand the consequences at hand, and reiterated a point very important to the Clinton campaign — the importance of every person’s vote.
“There is one thing I want to make very clear — elections aren’t just about who votes, but who doesn’t vote.”
Assuring the crowd that she loves Pittsburgh and wished she could stay, Michelle waved goodbye and exited the stage, while “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” blasted through the venue.
The enthusiastic crowd, mainly comprised of students from the surrounding universities, and various Clinton apparel vendors seemed to be a good sign for Clinton, who probably hopes to win over typically-Democratic Pennsylvania.